We were up late last night, watching the second season of Arrested Development with Tiffany, Marla, Celeste, and Nicki. I was beat when we crawled into bed after midnight. I’m too old for such wild and crazy nights.
My hopes for a late morning were dashed when Kris woke me before dawn. “Let’s go see Harrison’s soccer game,” she said.
I wanted to sleep. “I want to sleep,” I said, gasping through my C-PAP mask.
She resorted to bribery. “I’ll buy you a chantico,” she said. I went downstairs to take a bath.
As Jenn explained in a recent entry, soccer for first-graders is somewhat chaotic. The rules are essentially what you’d expect except:
- there are only five players per team;
- there are no goalkeepers;
- there are essentially no fouls;
- halves are only twenty minutes long;
- no official score is kept;
- any out-of-bounds yields a throw-in;
- and, most radically, there is no off-sides.
Without this last concession, the game would be unplayable. Kids this young have no concept of position. The dominating factor regarding soccer for first-graders is that the kids cluster around the ball, all trying to kick it at once.
Sometimes a kid will come up with the ball and break from the crowd, sprinting for the goal. They rarely make it.
The coaches try to instill some sense of order:
And sometimes the kids can be convinced to stay on the defensive half of the field:
And sometimes something resembling normal soccer takes place, as here when Tyler crosses the ball to Harrison (who would be off-sides in a real game):
It’s great fun to watch the kids play, though, and they all seem to love it.
When it was all said and done, kids from opposing teams joined together for crackers and juice.
I was happy to have spent the morning among old friends: Rich, Karen, Kim, Sabino, and Katrina; John, Louise, and Jenn; Ken, Roger, and Kristin; and all of their children and grandchildren.
“That’s what I miss about living in Canby,” I told Kris on the drive home. “Those are my people. Whiskey Hill — Nintey-One — is my homeland.”
“You don’t have to miss it,” she said. “Didn’t we just visit?”